Your oral and overall health are intimately linked.

Did you know that your dental health and physical health are intrinsically linked? When you take the time to brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly, you aren’t only keeping your smile bright and healthy, but you’re also contributing to your general wellness.

Today, we’re discussing that connection in greater detail. Read on to discover 10 ways monitoring your overall and dental health can keep you feeling great and looking your best.

1. Keeps Inflammation Low

Inflammation is your body’s natural protection against outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses. It can occur in your mouth, as well as other areas throughout your body, including your lungs and digestive tract. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep your inflammation levels low. These include eating healthy, anti-inflammatory foods and reducing your consumption of refined sugars and trans fats.

This same approach can also help you ward off inflammation in your mouth, keeping your gums healthy. Loading up on fruits and vegetables and reducing your sugar intake are great steps for your dental health!

2. Lowers Stress Levels

When you’re stressed, it can affect your physical, mental, and dental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you might notice the following signs in your body:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Chest pain
  • Stomach or digestive issues
  • Dizziness

At the same time, stress can also take its toll on your teeth and gums. Oral conditions linked to stress include:

  • Jaw issues
  • Teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Cold sores
  • Poor oral hygiene

Stress can also lower your body’s natural immune response, which can make you more susceptible to periodontitis. Finding accessible ways to lower your stress levels is a great move for your overall wellness.

3. Facilitates a Healthy Diet

You already know that certain foods are better for you than others. In your quest to be as healthy as possible, you may decide to stick to fruits, veggies, dairy, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Coincidentally, these are foods your teeth love! They’re full of nutritious vitamins and minerals that can strengthen your enamel and keep your teeth strong. By eating a diet that prioritizes your physical health, you can also keep your mouth strong and healthy.

4. Supports Healthy Recovery

Ongoing prevention is necessary both before and after any type of surgery. Just as you would prepare yourself prior to any type of invasive medical procedure, you should also take the necessary precautions before a dental treatment.

Take dental implants, for example. Before receiving implants, it’s important to take care of the surrounding area and keep it clean. Likewise, you’ll treat it as a natural tooth after it’s in place, brushing and flossing it with care.

Taking care of your teeth and your body can help make sure any treatment you undergo is as successful as possible.

5. Prioritizes Sleep

Your body has a powerful way of letting you know when you’re not getting enough rest. Physical effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Complexion issues
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Aches and pains
  • Memory lapses
  • Lack of concentration

Likewise, a lack of sleep (or poor sleep quality) can also affect your dental health. Studies show that the amount of shut-eye you get every night is connected to your risk of periodontitis. In general, less sleep can heighten the levels of inflammation in your gums because your body produces more inflammatory hormones when it’s running on fumes.

6. Increases Your Water Intake

Each person requires a different amount of water each day to stay healthy. The different factors that contribute this number include:

  • Your weight
  • Your activity level
  • Your diet
  • Your location
  • Your overall health

In general, experts recommend around 15.5 cups of fluids a day for men and 11.5 cups for women. Water helps eliminate waste, regulate your body temperature, lubricate your joints, and protect your sensitive tissues.

It’s also great for your teeth and gums! When you focus on getting enough water per day, you help keep your gums hydrated and comfortable. You also help your mouth produce more saliva, which rinses away food and neutralizes bacterial acids, preventing cavities and gingivitis. So, drink up!

7. Keeps Drugs and Tobacco Away

If you’re on a mission to improve your physical health, you know that drugs and tobacco are substances to avoid. Not only can they attack and damage your internal systems, but they can also be addictive, leading to long-term health battles.

Your oral health will also thank you when you kick these unhealthy habits to the curb. Tobacco and abusive drugs are linked to a host of dental issues, including:

  • Dry mouth
  • Teeth grinding
  • Increased rate of periodontitis
  • Increased risk of oral cancer

This is one of the first steps you can take when you’re ready to get your health back on track.

8. Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity increases your risk of developing many chronic health conditions, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High LDL cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Stroke

Did you also know that weight management is an important part of dental care? Studies have shown a link between obesity indicators and those with poor oral health. Specifically, researchers found that this condition increases your risk of developing gum disease.

Finding safe, healthy ways to manage your weight is key to optimizing your overall wellness. Light exercise and a healthy diet are excellent ways to stay on track.

9. Increases Physical Activity

You don’t have to run a marathon every year, but engaging in about 30 minutes of low-impact activity every day is great for your health! From walking and dancing to yoga and sports, there are plenty of ways to stay active.

When you make this a priority, you’re also doing your mouth a favor. First, it keeps inflammation low and helps ward off periodontitis. It also keeps your BMI levels in check, which can lower your risk of developing dental health issues.

10. Minimizes Processed Foods

As you monitor your overall health, you’ll likely cut out many processed junk foods. While these foods might delight you, keep in mind that they achieve this effect by purposefully triggering the “pleasure centers” in your brain.

In reality, they’re low in fiber and protein and high in unhealthy ingredients, like refined grains and added sugars. By minimizing these foods in your diet, you can reduce the amounts of processed sugars and carbohydrates you eat. This can minimize your risk of developing a cavity. Bacteria love to feed on food particles from sugary or starchy foods if they’re left unbrushed in your mouth!

The Value of Monitoring Overall Health

The 10 steps above can help you keep your physical health in check. They’re also critical to your oral health! By monitoring your overall health and adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your whole body feeling great, including your teeth and gums. As you take these next steps, our office is here for your family.

Review our website to learn more about the treatments and services we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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